Thursday, April 26, 2018

PA Ed Policy Roundup April 26: RFA Report: Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color in Pennsylvania


Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 4050 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, Governor's staff, current/former PA Secretaries of Education, Wolf education transition team members, superintendents, school solicitors, principals, charter school leaders, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, business leaders, faith-based organizations, labor organizations, education professors, members of the press and a broad array of P-16 regulatory agencies, professional associations and education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

These daily emails are archived and searchable at http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.org
Follow us on Twitter at @lfeinberg

RFA Report: Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color in Pennsylvania



Stop Betsy DeVos’s National Voucher Program Before Congress Approves It.
Help stop a federal voucher bill that has NPE and other national allied organizations very concerned.
Network for Public Education Website April 22, 2018 by Darcie Cimarusti
Send an email with a click to Congress to stop money being drained directly from public schools to fund a national voucher program. Here is the link: https://bit.ly/2J8Rd9P



States are favoring school choice at a steep cost to public education | Opinion
Penn Live Guest Editorial By Derek W. Black Updated 8:45 AM; Posted 8:45 AM
Derek W. Black is a professor of law at the University of South Carolina. He wrote this piece for The Conversation, where it first appeared.
Teacher strikes are generating a healthy focus on how far public education funding has fallen over the past decade. The full explanation, however, goes beyond basic funding cuts. It involves systematic advantages in terms of funding, students and teachers for charter schools and voucher programs as compared to traditional public schools. Increasing public teacher salaries may end the current protests, but speaking as an expert in education law and policy, I believe it won't touch the new normal in which public education is no longer many states' first priority. My forthcoming research shows that, from funding and management practices to teacher and student policies, states are giving charter schools and private schools a better deal than public schools. These better deals have fueled enormous growth in charter schools and voucher programs that is now nearly impossible to unwind.
http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2018/04/states_are_favoring_school_cho.html

RFA PACER Report: Patching the Leaky Pipeline: 
Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color in Pennsylvania
Research for Action by Alison Stohr, Jason Fontana and David Lapp; part of RFA's Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research (PACER) series
Research shows that exposure to teachers of color has a positive impact on students of all races, and particularly on students of color. Despite these positive effects, only 4% of Pennsylvania's teachers are people of color. This percentage is not only one of the lowest in the nation, but it is also starkly disparate from Pennsylvania's own student population, where 29% of students are people of color. In our report, "Patching the Leaky Pipeline: Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color in Pennsylvania," we examine the leaks in Pennsylvania's teacher pipeline that may be contributing to this lack of diversity. This brief, which is part of RFA's Pennsylvania Clearinghouse for Education Research (PACER) series, also highlights promising practices found across the country that could increase the number of teachers of color in Pennsylvania schools. "The Pennsylvania Department of Education highlighted the critical need for increased teacher diversity in its recently-approved ESSA plan," said RFA Policy Associate Alison Stohr. "In this brief, we provide practical suggestions and real-life examples of initiatives that address the need for a strong pipeline for teachers of color." Stohr added, "This work will require multi-sector collaboration involving state government, local education agencies, and the colleges and universities that prepare teachers."  To read the full brief, click the link above or find it on our website here.
http://files.constantcontact.com/f7d1e6c8101/69c3310a-8919-49fd-beac-a29aaeece260.pdf

Schooled: Philadelphia’s Wister Elementary seeks solutions
WHYY Guests: Kevin McCorry, Jovan Weaver Air Date: April 25, 2018
Across the country, public schools have struggled to meet the needs of children in deep poverty, especially students of color. That’s also true in Philadelphia. Keystone Crossroads reporter KEVIN McCORRY spent a year at Wister Elementary School in the East Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia to examine some of the causes and proposed solutions to this ongoing problem. In the new season of McCorry’s podcast, “Schooled,” we hear from teachers, students, administrators, and community members as the school considers transitioning to a charter. McCorry joins us along with Wister Elementary principal, JOVAN WEAVER, who is the subject of the premier episode of this season of “Schooled.”
https://whyy.org/programs/schooled/

York City's school recovery plan is showing positive results
York Daily Record Opinion by Eric B. Holmes Published 4:03 p.m. ET April 25, 2018
Eric B. Holmes is superintendent of the York City School District.
The most ambitious school recovery plan in Pennsylvania history is working.
The independent education experts at Mass Insight – whose evaluation and recommendations framed the strategies the School District of the City of York has been using since 2015 to improve student achievement – have concluded, three years later, substantial progress has been made. “On nearly every element of the plan, the district and the individual schools have done what they committed to doing, and in most cases, there is evidence that the work has made a difference,” Mass Insight said in its report delivered to the district earlier this month. Hired by the state of Pennsylvania, Mass Insight visited the district in early March to observe classroom instruction and interview district staff and community stakeholders to gauge their sense of the district’s progress. They also collected surveys from more than 300 employees and reviewed district data and documentation.
https://www.ydr.com/story/opinion/columnists/2018/04/25/york-citys-school-recovery-plan-showing-positive-results/551414002/

'I'll run my campaign, senator, you can run your campaign': GOP guv candidates clash in TV debate
Penn Live By Marc Levy Associated Press Updated Apr 25, 10:52 PM; Posted Apr 25, 9:24 PM
With three weeks until the primary election, a live TV debate Wednesday night between the three Republicans seeking the party's nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in November got tough quickly, as they clashed over their increasingly sharp-elbowed attack ads on TV. Early in the hour-long debate, Paul Mango, a retired health care systems consultant, rebuffed state Sen. Scott Wagner's offer to stop mentioning each other in TV attack ads, as well as a panelist's challenge to refrain from personal attacks on fellow candidates and keep the campaign "out of the gutter." "I'm not attacking anyone's character," Mango responded to the panelist. "What I'm doing is revealing my opponent's character, and those are two very different things."
To Wagner, he said, "I'll run my campaign, senator, you can run your campaign."

http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/04/gop_governor_hopefuls_clash_in.html#incart_river_index

In GOP gubernatorial debate, Wolf becomes a topic of discussion
Inquirer by Liz Navratil  @liznavratil |  lnavratil@post-gazette.com Updated: APRIL 25, 2018 — 9:41 PM EDT
WILLOW STREET, Pa. — With just under three weeks left until the primary, the Republican candidates for governor slipped into their Wednesday night debate criticisms not only of one another but also of the Democratic governor they all hope to challenge in November. State Sen. Scott Wagner (R., York) criticized donations that Gov. Wolf receives from various unions and said, if elected, he would reverse the governor’s moratorium on the death penalty. Former health-care consultant Paul Mango, of Allegheny County, questioned the governor’s handling of Medicaid. And Pittsburgh attorney Laura Ellsworth said she fears Wolf’s proposed severance tax on gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale would turn away the industry. Their remarks came during an hour-and-a-half appearance at the Cultural Center at Willow Valley Communities, a senior living complex in rural Lancaster County. It was their second-to-last debate before the May 15 primary and had, perhaps, one of their largest TV audiences yet. The first hour of the debate aired on stations across the state and in Youngstown, Ohio. The last half hour, during which residents asked the majority of the questions, appeared online.
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/pennsylvania-governor-republicans-debate-scott-wagner-laura-ellsworth-paul-mango-20180425.html

The GOP guv candidates debated again. Here's five things to know | Thursday Morning Coffee
Penn Live By John L. Micek jmicek@pennlive.com Updated 7:41 AM; Posted 7:40 AM
Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.
The three Republican candidates for governor met for one of their 
final debates of the 2018 primary season on Wednesday night. And in the face-off co-sponsored by hosted by ABC 27, LNP, The Caucus and Lancaster Farming, some familiar patterns emerged. You can watch the full debate here.

http://www.pennlive.com/capitol-notebook/2018/04/the_gop_guv_candidates_debated.html

“What was particularly troubling from a legislative standpoint is something Metcalfe wrote toward the end of his post: “I block all substantive Democrat legislation sent to my committee and advance good Republican legislation!”
That one sentence is perhaps the epitome of what’s wrong in Harrisburg and damning evidence that Metcalfe deserves no leadership position within the Legislature. At a time when discussion, debate and compromise are so badly needed in state government, Metcalfe has made it clear that only he and Republican leaders are in the right, and that Democrats — those horrible liberals — have no say in the commonwealth’s future, at least in his mind.”
Our View: Metcalfe abuses his position
Beaver County Times Editorial By The Times Editorial Board Posted Apr 25, 2018 at 12:15 AM
A photo taken after the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush circulated widely on social media over the weekend. Surrounding former President George H.W. Bush were his son and daughter-in-law, former President George W. and Laura Bush; former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Sen. Hillary Clinton; former President Barack Obama and wife Michelle; and current first lady Melania Trump. It was a striking nod to the respect the former presidents hold for one another, regardless of party affiliation. For many, it carried the message that although we may disagree politically, we are all Americans and want what’s best for our country and its citizens. And the way we get there is by working together, not by tearing one another down. Contrast that, if you will, to the rant against Democrats, liberals and the gay community that state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-12, Cranberry Township, posted Friday on his Facebook page. Metcalfe referred to Democratic Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia as a “lying homosexual” in a post in which he went after several Democratic legislators, including Rep. Matt Bradford of Montgomery County, whom he called “touchy-feely” and someone “who has touched me over 40 times in what many observers have said is an attempt to provoke me.” (A video from a House State Government Committee meeting in December went viral when Metcalfe lashed out at Bradford for touching his arm while making a point during debate.)
http://www.timesonline.com/opinion/20180425/our-view-metcalfe-abuses-his-position

Daryl Metcalfe's hateful comments prove he needs to step down | Opinion
Letter to the Editor by Albert Eisenberg, For the Inquirer Updated: APRIL 25, 2018 10:02 AM EDT
At what point does personal intolerance disqualify someone from holding public office?
This question comes to mind after a recent post by Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler) in a Facebook post in which he labeled Philly Democratic Rep. Brian Sims a “lying homosexual.” Metcalfe’s use of the word homosexual – a term I view as a neutral descriptor of a person’s sexuality – implies that he views being gay as an insultCombined with his public outburst after having his arm touched by a male colleague last December (“I’m a heterosexual …I  don’t like men as you might”), Metcalfe’s actions illustrate to me the significant difference between opposing policies that might benefit the LGBT community, and actually disliking gay human beings. As the powerful chairman of the House Government Committee, Metcalfe has blocked legislation on LGBT nondiscrimination, which I’ve worked on from the Republican side. But that’s not what offends me. As a gay man and an open-minded person, I am offended that Metcalfe’s words and actions support homophobia.
http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/daryl-metcalfes-hateful-comments-prove-he-needs-to-step-down-opinion-20180425.html

In first public duties, new Philly school board gets an earful from community
Inquirer by Kristen A. Graham, Staff Writer  @newskag |  kgraham@phillynews.com Updated: APRIL 25, 2018 — 9:30 PM EDT
Add more art and music to schools. Better equip teachers to handle the challenges of children who live in deep poverty. Earn the public’s trust and improve community relations. Make sure kids have mentors, and job training, and access to robust after-school programs. Members of the new Philadelphia school board got an earful from the public Wednesday night on the first stop of that body’s citywide listening tour. “This is part of their orientation, in a way, a way to hear from the people in the public about the issues that are most important to them,” Otis Hackney, Mayor Kenney’s chief education officer, told about 100 people who gathered in the auditorium at Dobbins High School in North Philadelphia. Four members of the new board attended Wednesday’s session: Maria McColgan, Angela McIver, Wayne Walker, and Joyce Wilkerson. Board members have been sworn in, but they won’t begin governing the school system — which has 205,000 students in traditional public schools and charters — until July 1, succeeding the state-run School Reform Commission.

City school pride: Accentuate the positive, but don’t ignore weaknesses
THE EDITORIAL BOARD Pittsburgh Post-Gazette APR 25, 2018 12:00 AM
Although its overall academic profile begs improvement, the Pittsburgh Public Schools has much to be proud of. The school district has been conducting a marketing campaign to burnish its image, and it should publicize what it is doing right. The district, battered for many years by declining enrollment, needs to show taxpayers the return on their investment and give outsiders a reason to move here. Academic progress would be the best form of advertising, however, and so officials must use the marketing campaign to highlight the schools’ strengths, not paper over their weaknesses. Pittsburgh has become a national media darling in recent years, with its ambitious restaurants, reasonable housing costs, recreational amenities and diversified economy pushing the city to the top of various organizations’ hot lists. Amazon isn’t considering Pittsburgh a finalist for its second headquarters because it likes the winter weather; the online purveyor picked up on the buzz and checked out the progress that has been made here on so many fronts.
http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2018/04/25/City-school-pride-Accentuate-the-positive-but-don-t-ignore-weaknesses/stories/201804250050

Franklin Towne Charter to come back before SRC Thursday in pursuit of third school
The commission rejected the charter school's initial application in February.
The notebook by Greg Windle April 25, 2018 — 5:04pm
Franklin Towne, which runs two charters that have shown high student achievement but have raised significant financial and operational concerns, is pursuing efforts to open a third school after the School Reform Commission rejected its initial application in February. The organization filed a revised application for a new middle school (grades 6-8) that would open in September 2019 with 450 students. The SRC is scheduled to consider the plan at its meeting Thursday. In denying the first application, the SRC cited several issues raised by the Charter Schools Office. These included problems with the proposed budget, inadequate services for special education students, and a predominantly white and relatively affluent student body that is demographically at odds with the rest of the city. The charter office evaluation also found conflicts of interest among board members  — one of whom also chairs the board of the flagship high school, which would act as both management company and landlord to the middle school. It raised questions about the propriety of these relationships, especially regarding lease arrangements for the building.
http://thenotebook.org/articles/2018/04/25/franklin-towne-set-to-come-back-before-src-thursday-in-pursuit-of-third-school

“Board members at Franklin Towne have deep ties to Philadelphia’s political world. Marelia, board president of Franklin Towne's elementary and high schools and potentially the middle school, is the chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Mike Stack.  Nancy Hartey, a board member for the elementary and high schools and potentially the middle school, worked for years as chief of staff for now-retired Pennsylvania State Rep. Michael McGeehan. Both Stack and McGeehan are Democrats who represented Northeast Philadelphia. Stack was a state senator from 2001 to 2015, and as lieutenant governor, he is president of the Pennsylvania Senate. Until recently, both were ward leaders in Northeast Philadelphia. McGeehan’s Ward 41 is now run by Connie Dougherty, though three current committee people in the ward share McGeehan’s last name. Ryan Mulvey, a board member for Franklin Towne's elementary school, is a legislative aide for State Sen. John Sabatina Jr., a Democrat, and would also be on the board of the middle school if it is approved.”
In the convoluted world of charter school real estate, Franklin Towne is both landlord and tenant
The notebook by Greg Windle April 25, 2018 — 5:50pm
The debt of Franklin Towne Charter network is long-standing, incurred through a series of circular real estate arrangements that were used to purchase and construct school buildings and rent the buildings from companies that its CEO created. A 2010 report from the city controller found these arrangements at nine different charter school operators around the city and described it as a way of “transferring taxpayer-funded assets to non-profits that are not accountable to the School District.”  The report found Franklin Towne’s high school to be among those nine. CEO Joseph Venditti leased the school’s already-purchased property to a for-profit entity he created, Franklin Towne Holdings LLC, and then subleased it back to the school. He also doubled his own compensation over the course of three years.  As CEO, Venditti took the building bought by the high school with bonds and leased it to Franklin Towne Holdings. The holding company sub-leases the building back to the school, which pays rent to the holding company. Venditti signed the lease and sublease as both CEO of the school and manager of Franklin Towne Holdings LLC, according to the 2010 city controller's report.  Franklin Towne is no longer collecting state reimbursements for rent payments, but a 2014 audit of the high school’s finances found that the same circular leasing arrangement was still in place. According to the audit, this agreement will not expire until January 2033.
http://thenotebook.org/articles/2018/04/25/in-the-sometimes-convoluted-world-of-charter-school-real-estate-franklin-towne-is-both-landlord-and-tenant

A school with your name gets you remembered, right? Wrong. Students often know nothing about the names behind their schools.
Inquirer by Anna Orso, Staff Writer  @anna_orso |  aorso@phillynews.com Updated: APRIL 25, 2018 — 11:40 AM EDT
Prerit Kothari is just wrapping up his freshman year at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the business school that’s among the most prestigious in the world. At this point, he has learned a lot of things. But does he know who Wharton was? Before we answer that, consider how Philadelphia is a city populated by buildings crowned with the names of the likes of civil giants, and/or the very rich — people whose munificence was rewarded with having their moniker plastered on a building for perpetuity. In Abington, Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman was willing to hand over $25 million to have the high school bear his name (although the school board voted Tuesday night to accept the donation, the name change was retracted last month amid pressure from parents in the district). Presumably, people want naming rights so they and their accomplishments live on. Or not. Kothari, 18, has no idea who Wharton was. And it turns out, very few students do. Interviews with two dozen college and high school students around Philadelphia showed almost none had any knowledge of the folks who shelled out millions for a school in their name. It raises the question: Why pay the big bucks? Is it worth it?
http://www.philly.com/philly/education/abington-high-school-name-schwarzman-bill-cosby-trial-20180425.html

Bill allows automated cameras on school bus' stop arms to detect vehicles that fail to stop
Penn Live By Jan Murphy jmurphy@pennlive.com Updated 4:55 PM; Posted 4:55 PM
Legislation that would give school districts the option of installing automated cameras on their school bus stop arms intended to detect vehicles that fail to stop when the bus' red lights are flashing won approval by the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday. But it wasn't without discussion over concerns about how law enforcement might use the recorded images captured by the cameras and how some school districts may not be able to afford to install them on buses. The measure, sponsored by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne, R-Lehigh County, passed the committee by a 12-3 vote, with three Democratic senators casting the negative votes. Committee Chairman John Rafferty, R-Montgomery County, noted 1.5 million children are transported in school buses each day in Pennsylvania but there are rare occasions where they don't return home safely.
http://www.pennlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/04/bill_allows_automated_cameras.html#incart_river_index

Pottsgrove budget calls for 1% tax hike, but aiming for zero
By Evan Brandt, The Mercury POSTED: 04/25/18, 6:29 PM EDT
LOWER POTTSGROVE >> The Pottsgrove School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to adopt a $67.5 million preliminary final budget that would raise taxes by 1 percent. For a home assessed at $120,000, the district average, that works out to another $45 in taxes. But even that amount may not be levied. Superintendent William Shirk and Business Manager David Nester both said the administration has “a plan to get to zero.” “We do have a plan to get to zero, but there are still some big questions out there,” such as tuition to charter schools and state budget numbers, Nester told the school board. “If nothing astronomic happens, we feel pretty confident we can reduce this and get this to a zero,” he said.
http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20180425/pottsgrove-budget-calls-for-1-tax-hike-but-aiming-for-zero

“Over the duration of the agreement, starting teacher salaries rise from $47,600 to $51,549. Teachers at the highest point of the pay scale will see an increase from $100,150 to $107,025 by 2024. The contract ties these increases to concessions to health care where employees will share 22 percent of costs or opt for a less-expensive plan.”
Garnet Valley OKs five-year extension with teachers union
Delco Times By Susan Serbin, Times Correspondent POSTED: 04/25/18, 8:20 PM EDT
CONCORD >> The Garnet Valley School Board approved a five-year extension with the 396-member Garnet Valley Education Association with an 8-0 vote, with one board member not attending. The agreement reached in informal talks includes a 2.86 percent annual average increase in compensation inclusive of salaries and increases in health insurance premium sharing. “We are extremely pleased that we’ve reached this agreement,” said board member Scott Mayer, who participated in the contract meetings with administration and teachers union representatives. “We feel that the extension strikes a balance between our responsibility to our taxpayers and our commitment to negotiate a fair contract with our teachers. We grappled with a lot of issues, and it was a pleasure to work with the association.” The terms of the agreement add five years to the existing contract lasting through June 2019, bringing the end date of June 2024. The parties have referred to this development as “six years of peace.” Not lost in the process was the prior contract negotiation of 18 months which created a level of tension for the entire school community. Union President Rob Guidetti said Superintendent Marc Bertrando approached the organization with the idea of informal negotiations which is trending.
http://www.delcotimes.com/article/DC/20180425/NEWS/180429754

Community Schools: Wraparound services still worth it even after accounting for all costs
Brookings by Joan Wasser GishEric Dearing, and Mary Walsh Friday, July 15, 2016
There is a new consensus about the importance of addressing the out-of-school factors that interfere with students’ success in school. Though achievement gaps for some groups have narrowed, the gap between high- and low-income students has grown by about 40 percent in a generation, and now a majority of all children in America’s public schools are eligible for free and reduced lunch. Interest in tackling barriers to low-income students’ success reverberates through the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and is palpable in communities across the country. Educators are seeking ways to effectively integrate education with social services, youth development, health and mental health resources so that all children are ready to learn. Emerging evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of “integrated supports,” school-based approaches that advance students’ academic progress “by developing or securing and coordinating supports that target academic and non-academic barriers to achievement.” Organizations like City Connects, Communities In SchoolsCommunity Schools, and Say Yes to Education offer varying approaches to comprehensively address students’ needs tied to hunger, homelessness, traumatic experiences, or lack of access to medical care or enrichment opportunities.
https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2016/07/15/wraparound-services-still-worth-it-even-after-accounting-for-all-costs/

U.S. 4th Graders Surprise on New Exam of Online Reading
International results leave some 'elated'
Education Week By Benjamin Herold April 24, 2018
New York - U.S. 4th graders performed surprisingly well on a new international test of online reading ability, outperforming their peers in 10 of the 15 other educational systems that participated. "We were actually elated," said Peggy G. Carr, the associate commissioner for assessment at the National Center for Education Statistics, during a discussion of the results at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, held here this month. "I think it's very clear that our students are more savvy than many of us have given them credit for," Carr said. The findings come from the first administration of ePIRLS, a new version of the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study. The new assessment of online reading ability was taken in 2016 by 85,000 4th graders around the world, including 4,100 students in 153 U.S. public and private schools. The ePIRLS exam asks students to navigate a "simulated internet environment"—including web pages, tabs, and hyperlinks directing them to a mix of text, photos, charts, and interactive animations—in order to find and understand relevant information.
https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/04/25/us-4th-graders-surprise-on-new-exam.html?cmp=soc-twitter-shr

We Are Republican Teachers Striking in Arizona. It’s Time to Raise Taxes.
New York Times Video by Leah Varjacques, Taige Jensen and Japhet Weeks April 26, 2018
Tens of thousands of teachers are walking out of their schools in Arizona on Thursday. Arizona is the latest conservative state with protesters demanding an increase in teacher salaries and more resources for students. In this video op-ed, four conservative teachers lament the conditions in their classrooms and, in turn, wrestle with their political beliefs.
“I’m a die-hard Republican, and I’m dying inside,” says Allison Ryal-Bagley, an elementary school substitute teacher. “Republicans aren’t taking care of our kids.”
Over the last decade, Arizona has had the greatest decrease in per-student spending in the country — a 36.6 percent drop since 2008 — making it 48th in the nation. Arizona also ranks 43rd in teacher pay, at nearly $11,000 less than the national average, according to the National Education Association. William Kimsey, who teaches English, is fed up and is moving for a teaching job in Indonesia. Laura Fox, a music teacher, works the late shift at McDonald’s to make ends meet. Jenny Bentley Ryan used to work as a Lyft driver to supplement her income teaching science. They are challenging Arizona’s Republican governor, Doug Ducey, to increase taxes and give public education the funding it deserves. — The Editors
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/26/opinion/red-arizona-republican-teacher-strike.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

West Springfield planning discussion about charter school network with ties to controversial Muslim cleric
With a pair of Massachusetts lawmakers calling for an audit of a charter school slated to open in West Springfield, city officials are organizing a panel discussion and screening a film about a charter school network associated with Fethullah Gulen, a controversial Turkish imam behind a growing social, political and educational movement in the U.S. and Turkey.
MASSLive By Conor Berry  cberry@repub.com Updated Apr 25, 8:25 PM
WEST SPRINGFIELD -- With state lawmakers calling for an audit of a charter school slated to open in September in West Springfield, city officials are organizing a panel discussion and screening of "Killing Ed," a documentary about a charter school network affiliated with Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish imam who is the inspiration for a growing social, political and educational movement in the U.S. and Turkey. The event is tentatively scheduled for next month, with details expected to be finalized soon, according to a West Springfield School Committee member who is involved in the planning process. Ties between a network of Turkish-run charter schools in the U.S. and the "Gulen movement," identified by the Republic of Turkey as a terrorist organization, continue to fuel concerns in West Springfield, where the Chicopee-based Hampden Charter School of Science plans to open a new facility in about four months.
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/04/with_hampden_charter_school_of.html

NRA breaks fundraising record after Parkland massacre
The National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund raised $2.4 million from March 1 to March 31, the first full month after the Feb. 14 shooting.
Tampa Bay Times By Alex Daugherty April 24, 2018
As the student-led March for Our Lives movement captured the nation's attention in the weeks after the Parkland shooting, the other side of the gun control debate enjoyed a banner month of its own. The National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund raised $2.4 million from March 1 to March 31, the group's first full month of political fundraising since the nation's deadliest high school shooting on Valentine's Day, according to filings submitted to the Federal Elections Commission. The total is $1.5 million more than the organization raised during the same time period in 2017, when it took in $884,000 in donations, and $1.6 million more than it raised in February 2018. The $2.4 million haul is the most money raised by the NRA's political arm in one month since June 2003, the last month when electronic federal records were readily available. It surpasses the $1.1 million and $1.5 million raised in January and February 2013, the two months after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/04/24/nra-breaks-fundraising-record-after-parkland-massacre/


PASA Women's Caucus Annual Conference "Leaders Lifting Leaders"
May 6 - 8, 2018 Hotel Hershey
**REGISTRATION NOW OPEN**

Featured Speakers...
*Dr. Helen Sobehart - Women Leading Education Across Continents: Lifting Leaders from Here to There
*Dr. Tracey Severns - Courageous Leadership
*Dr. Emilie Lonardi - Lead and Lift: A Call for Females to Aspire to the Superintendency
*Deputy Secretary Matt Stem - Update from the PDE

Registration: https://www.pasa-net.org/wcconf

Electing PSBA Officers:  Applications Due by June 1st
Do you have strong communication and leadership skills and a vision for PSBA? Members interested in becoming the next leaders of PSBA are encouraged to submit an Application for Nomination no later than June 1, 11:59 p.m., to PSBA's Leadership Development Committee (LDC). The nomination process
All persons seeking nomination for elected positions of the Association shall send applications to the attention of the chair of the Leadership Development Committee, during the months of April and May an Application for Nomination to be provided by the Association expressing interest in the office sought. “The Application for nomination shall be marked received at PSBA Headquarters or mailed first class and postmarked by June 1 to be considered and timely filed.” (PSBA Bylaws, Article IV, Section 5.E.).
Open positions are:
In addition to the application form, PSBA Governing Board Policy 302 asks that all candidates furnish with their application a recent, print quality photograph and letters of application. The application form specifies no less than three letters of recommendation and no more than four, and are specifically requested as follows:
https://www.psba.org/2018/03/electing-psba-officers/


MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Join the PA Principals Association, the PA Association of School Administrators and the PA Association of Rural and Small Schools for PA Education Leaders Advocacy Day at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at the Capitol in Harrisburg, PA.  
A rally in support of public education and important education issues will be held on the Main Rotunda Steps from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Visits with legislators will be conducted earlier in the day. More information will be sent via email, shared in our publications and posted on our website closer to the event.
To register, send an email to Dr. Joseph Clapper at clapper@paprincipals.org before Friday, June 8, 2018.
Click here to view the PA Education Leaders Advocacy Day 2018 Save The Date Flyer (INCLUDES EVENT SCHEDULE AND IMPORTANT ISSUES.) 

SAVE THE DATE for the 2018 PA Educational Leadership Summit - July 29-31 - State College, PA sponsored by the PA Principals Association, PASA, PAMLE and PASCD.  
This year's Summit will be held from July 29-31, 2018 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, State College, PA.

Any comments contained herein are my comments, alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or organization that I may be affiliated with.